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Poster: Chris Freedom Date: Mar 11, 2007 11:24am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Mason's Children-What do you think?

Mason's Children
This song is pretty obscure, it is listed as having been played 15 times (all between 69-70)
I kind of like the tune for it's strange twists & turns, I always catch the vocals a little differently especially on the harmonizing. I can see where this song would be a problem to play regularly.
I also have very little idea what the song is really about ? David Dodd quotes Hunter as saying, it involves Altamont.

The only line I thought I got in the song , it turns out is in question.

"Take me to the _______ man,to pay back what was loaned"

I was pretty sure it was "REPO man"
but Dodd says its
"Reaper man"
and somebody who wrote in thinks it is
"Reefer man"

Below are the lyrics

"Mason's Children"
Words by Robert Hunter; music by Jerry Garcia
Copyright Ice Nine Publishing; used by permission.

Mason died on Monday
We bricked him in the wall
All his children grew and grew
They never grew so tall before
They may never grow so tall again

We dug him up on Tuesday
He'd hardly aged a day
Taught us all we ever knew
We never knew so much before
We may never know so much again

Mason was a mighty man
A mighty man was he
All he said: when I'm dead and gone
don't you weep for me

The wall collapsed on Wednesday
We chalked it up to fate
All his children ran and hid
We never hid so well before
Swore we'd never show our face again

Thursday came and Friday
with fires tall and bright
Mason's children cooked the stew
and cleaned up when the feast was through
Swore we'd never had such times before

Take me to the Reaper Man
to pay back what was loaned
If he's in some other land
write it off as stoned

Mason was a mighty man
A mighty man was he
All he said: when I'm dead and gone
don't you weep for me

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Poster: clark griswold Date: Oct 23, 2010 7:46pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Mason's Children-What do you think?

I kinda always thought it had to do with mushrooms--which are started in mason jars left in the dark until they grow long strands of mycelium - then they are dumped out and given light and humidity to fruit. Then they are eaten for their knowledge--- the whole song always made me think I was hearing a musical recipe of sorts maybe a celebration?.

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Poster: DeadRed1971 Date: Oct 23, 2010 8:25pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Mason's Children-What do you think?

Your post,and the Wagon Queen Family Truckster are a quite bit out of date.

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Poster: perrinyone Date: Jun 8, 2013 10:24am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Mason's Children-What do you think?

This is an old thread, I know, but to put my two cents in:

Never cared for this song in all the live tapes due to the unbelievably, typically-'69 sloppy vocals. Then I heard the Workingman's Dead outtake which I think if one of those rare instances of the Dead nailing it best in the studio. I can follow the "song", the thread of the melody, alot easier in the outtake. I can also understand why they left it off the album; it's a minor, albeit likeable, tune.

The tightest live version I've heard thus far is the 12-31-69 version. (the versions from 12-28, 12-29, and 12-30 are all pretty sloppy to my ears so I'd definitely favor this version if I had to put it on a compilation or something.....) Maybe there are better versions? Anyone?

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Poster: CliffinFL Date: Nov 28, 2013 11:23pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Mason's Children-What do you think?

I think the version from 1/24/70 (Honolulu Civic Auditorium) was pretty tight. I do like the one from 12/31/69 a lot too though.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Nov 29, 2013 7:39am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Mason's Children-What do you think?

Hmmm, methinks the REAL Cliff H would know this...and though well south of the usual tune-a-fish (Bob) banks, Florida is right down the Gulf Stream...

Here's to ya, if it is you...

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Poster: smi2les Date: Mar 11, 2007 2:00pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Mason's Children-What do you think?

Maybe it's about the Mason's Hospital in fairway park, that's a blocked structure. Pretty cool building as well.

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Poster: johnnyonthespot Date: Mar 11, 2007 6:53pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Mason's Children-What do you think?

There's a weird website I stumbled across years ago where this guy was tying the brotherhood of Masons or whatever they are called to Satanism. He used this song as an example. There is a LOT of stuff talked about with the history of the Masons, and the founding Fathers, etc. and this is way before that movie National Trasure ( which is a fun movie imo ). I personally love the song although I think they allways seemed off on the rhythm just like till the morning comes. The so many roads box set is the first time I ever heard the studio version. MAn it kicks ass, wonder why they didn't put it on the album.

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Poster: Chris Freedom Date: Mar 11, 2007 7:04pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Mason's Children-What do you think?

Johnny

I like the way the song challenges the band but I could easily see with all the stuff they could play they would put this one aside.

It could also be that the song captured that time period 69-70 and then became pointless after that. there was a lot of crazy stuff going down during that period secret Cambodia bombings, Kent State/Jackson State , Altamont maybe the tune did not feel right after a certain period of time.

Someone asked Jerry why they didn't play Golden Road anymore and he said that he would feel silly singing that tune because it was tied to the time period in which they created it 65-66.

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Poster: johnnyonthespot Date: Mar 11, 2007 8:00pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Mason's Children-What do you think?

Being that Mason's is a lot more cryptic ( to me at least ) than Golden Road it sounds way less dated but if they weren't into it then that's that. It seemed that with Jerry especially there were tunes that he thought took too much effort for the end result. I wish he had rethought that on Cosmic Charlie. I love that tune.

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Poster: Bellski Date: Mar 11, 2007 11:46am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Mason's Children-What do you think?

MORE BEER !

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Poster: Max Chorak Date: Mar 11, 2007 1:06pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Mason's Children-What do you think?

What do i think of it? Never heard it =)


I have it too, and it's in some shows i've downloaded...


I love how i have so many new songs to experience..man, what it the recent one that just hit me... ah yes.. believe it or not, it's "Believe it or not".. oh and Hey Pocky Way... been listening to some 80's 90's :O

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Poster: wylie3000 Date: Mar 28, 2007 9:10pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Mason's Children-What do you think?

theres nothing satanic about this song. the meaning is mostly about the people that built this country EVERYONE some generations going further back than others. US BLUES! also quit your worryin' DON'T YOU CRY FOR ME!!!!!! be happy for the DEAD u get confused just listen to the music play ONE PEACE ONE LOVE

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Poster: ghostofpig Date: Mar 12, 2007 5:47am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Mason's Children-What do you think?

Mason's was written in response to Altamont. The band felt theat New Speedway Boogie was a better song.

I like the song, and am sorry it didn't make it.

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Poster: Old_NJ_Head_Zimmer Date: Mar 11, 2007 2:57pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Mason's Children-What do you think?

Mason's was dropped because it spooked most of the band and the fans. Too many satanic overtures. Go back and read it again!

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Poster: potatobanjo Date: Mar 11, 2007 4:50pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Mason's Children-What do you think?

http://www.archive.org/details/Ghetto_Gospel

how is this set for satanic overruns > ?

Hell in a bucket>
crazy fingers>
mason's children>
werewolves of london>
sitting on top of the world
birdsong
mexicali >
Big RR blues >
music never stopped

freaky, man, freaky


This post was modified by potatobanjo on 2007-03-11 23:50:44

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Poster: Chris Freedom Date: Mar 11, 2007 6:47pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Mason's Children-What do you think?

Zimmer,
Hmnn, that puts another spin on it. When I first heard the song a really long time ago I thought they were talking about Charles Manson until I got a copy of the lyrics. It does have a strange vibe.
When Hunter relates it to Altamont I know that was bad news.

This post was modified by Chris Freedom on 2007-03-12 01:47:06